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Full text of "From morn to midnight; a play in seven scenes"

FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 




i^Jv 






From Morn to Midnight 

A PLAY IN SEVEN SCENES 
BY GEORG KAISER 



TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BT 

ASHLEY DUKES 

(The Theatre Guild version) 

WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE 
THEATRE GUILD PRODUCTION 




NEW YORK 

BRENTANO'S 

Publishers 



J, 



Copyright, 1922, by 
BRENTANO'S 



All rights reserved 



r 



PBINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



VAIL-BALLOU COMPANY 
MNQMAMTON AND NEW TORK 



The cast of the THEATRE GUILD PRODUCTION 
as originally presented at the GARRICK 
THEATRE, May 21st, 1922. 

FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

A Play in seven scenes by GEORG KAISER 

Translation by Ashley Dukes 

Staged by Frank Reicher 

Settirfigs designed by Lee Simonson 



The cast of characters in the order of their ajjpearance 

Cashier Frank Reicher 

Stout Gentleman Ernest Cossart 

Clerk Sears Taylor 

Messenger Boy Francis Sadtler 

Lady Helen Westley \ 

Bank Manager Henry Travers 

Muffled Gentleman AUyn Joslyn 

Serving Maid Adele St. Maur 

Porter Charles Cheltenham 

The Lady's Son Edgar Stehli 

The Cashier's Mother Kathryn Wjlson 

His Daughters . {Lelia May Aultman 

His Wife Ernita Lascelles 

First Gentleman Walton Butterfield 

Second Gentleman Philip Leigh 

Third Gentleman Herman Goodman 

Fourth Gentleman Samuel Baron 

Fifth Gentleman William Crowell 

Salvation Lass Helen Sheridan 

Waiter Edgar Stehli 

First Mask Clelia Benjamin 

Second Mask Adele St. Maur 

Third Mask Caroline Hancock 

Fourth Mask Annette Ponse 

First Guest . . . . r. Sears Taylor 

Second Guest Allyn Joslyn 

Third Guest Sam Rosen 

Officer of Salvation Army Ernita Lascelles 

First Soldier of Salvation Army Philip Leigh 

First Penitent Philip Loeb 

Second Soldier of Salvation Army . . Camille Pastorfield 
Second Penitent Helen Westley 



Third Soldier of Salvation Army . . . Henry Travers 

Third Penitent Ernest Cossart 

Fourth Soldier of Salvation Army . . . William Crowell 

Policeman ... . . . ., . . • • Stanley Hewlett 

CROWD AT VELODROME AND SALVATION AHMY HALL: 

Marv Beechwood, Pegjjy Vaughan, Albert Powers, 

Annette Ponse, Teddy Tolputt, Estelle Corcos, 

Barbara Kitson, Lester Nass, Kenneth Campbell, 

Genevieve Corbin, Sarah Fishman, Margaret Wernimont, 
Philip Loeb. 



SCENE I— The Interior of a Provincial Bank 
SCENE II— The Writing Room of a Hotel 
SCENE III— A Field in Deep Snow 
SCENE IV— The Parlor in the Cashier's Home 

INTERMISSION 

SCENE V— The Steward's Box at a Velodrome during 

Bicycle Races 
SCENE VI — A Private Supper Room in a Cabaret 
SCENE VII— A Salvation Army HaU 



In a Small Town and a City in Germany at the Present Time 



Stage Manager Jacob Weiser 

^ • ^ ^ ci^ nr ^ Sears Taylor 

Assistant Stage Managers j^ j^^^^^ Joslyn 



stage, screen and amateur rights for this transla- 
tion and the original play are owned and controlled 
by The Theatre Guild, Inc., 65 west 35th St., New 
York City. No performances or public readings 
may be given without their written consent. 



INTRODUCTION 

Georg Kaiser, a German dramatist, has published 
some fifteen plays since 1911, twelve of which ap- 
peared during the war. Of these "Von Morgens bis 
Mitternachts" (1916)5 lately performed in Berlin 
under the direction of Max Reinhardt, is here trans- 
lated. 

The author has been called an "expressionist," and 
is by way of being considered as the founder of a 
new dramatic school; doubtless because the need is 
felt to describe succinctly an art which consists in a 
series of graphic, gestures, like a vigorous clenching 
of the smooth palm of actuality. It is true that 
Georg Kaiser brings a new method into the theatre. 
His singular economy of words is as it were the ob- 
verse of his lively but disciplined invention ; and while 
these qualities have made the task of translation no 
simpler, they will do something to establish the in- 
ternational or non-national character of the work. 
To the most unfriendly gaze Georg Kaiser will ap- 
pear to be a link between the three-dimensional stage 
and the screen, and a portent therefore not to be 
despised. But others who look deeper will read in 



INTRODUCTION 

the movement of his nameless hurrying throng of 
characters the poet's reflection of a universal ges- 
ture, and in their faces his image of a common un- 
rest. 

Ashley Dukes 



CHARACTERS 

Bank Cashier 

Mother 

Wife 

First and Second Daughters 

Bank Manager 

Clerk 

Porter 

Stout Gentleman 

Muffled Gentleman 

Messenger Boy 

Serving Maid 

Lady 

Son 

Waiter (In Hotel) 

Five Jewish Gentleman 

Four Female Masks 

Waiter (In Cabaret) 

Gentleman in Evening Dress 

Salvation Lass 

Officer and Soldiers (Of Salvation Army) 

Penitents 

Crowd (At Salvation Meeting) 

Policeman 




~1- 



SYNOPSIS OF SCENES 

I 

Interior of a Small Bank. 

II 

Writing-Room of a Hotel. 

Ill 

Field Deep in Snow. 

IV 

Parlour in Cashier's House. 

V 

Steward's Box at a Velodrome, During Cycle 
Races. 

VI 
Private Supper-Room in a Cabaret. 

VII 

Salvation Army Hall. 

In a small Town and a City in Germany at the 
present time. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 



rj' 



From Mom To Midnight 



SCENE I 

Scene : Interior of a provincial Banh. 

On the right, pigeon-holes and a door inscribed 
Manager. Another door in the middle: Strong 
Room. Entrance from the lower left. In front of 
the Cashier's cage on the left hand side is a cane 
sofUy and in front of it a small table with a water- 
bottle and glass. 

Rise : The Cashier at the counter and the Clerk 
at a desk, both writing. On the cane sofa sits a 
Stout Gentleman, wheezing. In front of the coun- 
ter stands a Messenger Boy, staring at the door, 
through which some one has just gone out. 

Cashier 

^Raps on the counter. 1 

[Messenger Boy turns, hands in a cheque.'] 

[Cashier examines it, writes, takes a handful of 

silver from a drawer, counts it, pushes a small 

pile across the counter.] 
[Messenger Boy sweeps the money into a linen bag.] 

8 



4 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Stout Gentleman 

[Risingi : Now the fat fellows take their turn. 
\_He pulls out a hag. Enter Lady, expensive furs; 
rustle of silk. Stout Gentleman stops sJiort.^ 

Lady 

[Smiles involuntarily in his direction.'] At last! 
[Stout Gentleman makes a wry face.~\ 
[Cashier taps the counter impatiently.'] 
[Lady looks at Stout Gentleman.] 

Stout Gentleman 

[Giving place to her] : The fat fellows can wait. 
[Lady bows distantly, comes to counter,] 
[Cashier taps as before.] 

Lady 

[Opens her handbag, takes out a letter and hands 
it to Cashier] : A letter of credit. Three thousand, 
please. [Cashier takes the envelope, turns it over, 
hands it back.] I beg your pardon. [She pulls out 
the folded letter and offers it again.] 

[Cashier turns it over, hands it back.] 

Lady 
[Unfolds the letter. Hands it to him.] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 5 

Three thousand, please. 
[Cashier glances at it, puts it in front of the Clerk. 
Clerk takes the letter, rises, goes out hy the 
door inscribed Manager.] 

Stout Gentleman 

[Retiring to sofa~\ : I can wait. The fat fellows 
can always wait. 

[Cashier begins counting silver,^ 

Lady 

In notes, if you don't mind. 
[Cashier ignores her.~\ 

Manager 

[Youthful, plump, comes in with the letter in his 
hand] : Who is — 

[He stops short on seeing the lady.] 
[Clerk resumes work at his desk.] 

Stout Gentleman 
Ahem ! Good morning. 

Manager 
[Glancing at him] : How goes it.'* 



6 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Stout Gentleman 

[Tapping his belli/'] : Oh, rounding out — round- 
ing out ! 

Manager 

[Laughs shortly. Turning to Lady] : I under- 
stand you want to draw on us? 

Lady 
Three thousand marks. 

Manager 

I would pay you three — [glancing at letter] — 
three thousand with pleasure, but — 

Lady 
Is anything wrong with the letter ? 

Manager 

[Suave, important] : It's in the proper form. 

[Reading the headlines] : "Not exceeding twelve 
thousand" — quite correct. [Spelling out the ad- 
dress.] "B-A-N-K-0"— 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 7 

Lady 
My bank in Florence assured me — 

Manager 
Your bank in Florence is quite all right. 

Lady 
Then I don't see why — 

Manager 
I suppose you applied for this letter? 

Lady 
Of course^ 

Manager 
Twelve thousand — payable at such cities — 

Lady 
As I should touch on my trip. 

Manager 

And you must have given your bank in Florence 
duplicate signatures. 



\ 



% 
% 



8 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 

Certainly. To be sent to the banlcs mentioned in 
the list to identify me. 

Manager 

[Consults letter^ : Ah ! 

\_Looks up^ : We have received no letter of ad- 
vice. 

Stout Gentleman 
[Coughs; winks at the Manager.] 

Lady 
That means I must wait until. . . . 

Manager 

Well, we must have something to go upon ! 
[Muffled Gentleman, in fur cap and shawl, comes 
in and takes his place at the counter. He darts 
angry glances at the Lady.] 

Lady 
I was quite unprepared for this. ... .— 



4 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 9 

Manager 

IWith a clumsy laugh] : As you see, Madame, we 
are even less prepared ; in fact — not at all. 

Lady 

I need the money so badly. . . . 
[Stout Gentleman laughs aloud.'\ 

Manager 

Who doesn't? 

[Stout Gentleman neighs with delight. '\ 

[Looking round for an audience.] 

Myself, for instance — 

[To the impatient Muffled Customer.] 

You have more time than I — don't 3'ou see I'm 
busy with this Lady? Now, Madame, what do you 
expect me to do — paj^ you money on your — ah — 

[Stout Gentleman titters.] ^ 

Lady 
[Quickly] : I'm staying at the Elephant. 

Manager 

[Stout Gentleman wheezes with laughter.] 
I am very glad to know your address. 



10 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

I always lunch there. 

Lady 
Can't the proprietor vouch for me? 

Manager 

Has he already had the pleasure? 
[Stout Gentleman rocks with delight, '\ 

Lady 
Well, I have my luggage with me . . . 

Manager 
Am I to examine it? 

Lady 
A most embarrassing position. I can't. . » . 

Manager 

Then we're in the same boat. You can't — I can't 
— that's the situation. 
[He returns the letter. '\ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 11 

Lady 
What do you advise me to do ? 

Manager 

This is a snug little town of ours — it has surround- 
ings — The Elephant is a well-known house . . . 
you'll make pleasant acquaintances of one sort or 
another . . . and time will pass — days — nights — 
well you know ? 

Lady 
I don't in the least mind passing a few days here. 

Manager 

Your fellow-guests will be delighted to contribute 
something for your entertainment. 

Lady 
But I must have three thousand to-day! 

Manager 

[To Stout Gentleman] : Will anybody here 
underwrite a lady from abroad for three thousand 
marks ? 



12 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 

I couldn't think of accepting that. I shall be in 
my room at the hotel. When the letter of advice 
arrives, will you please notify me at once by tele- 
iphone? 

Manager 
Personally, Madame, if you wish. 

Lady 

In whatever way is quickest. \^She folds up the 
letter, replaces it in the envelope, and puts both into 
her handbag, '\ I shall call again in any case this 
afternoon. 

Manager 

At your service. [Lady bows coldly, goes out. 
Muffled Gentleman moves up to counter, on 
which he leans, crackling his cheque impatiently. 
Manager ignoring him, looks merrily at the Stout 
Gentleman. Stout Gentleman sniffs the air. 
Laughs.'] All the fragrance of Italy, eh? Straight 
from the perfume bottle. [Stout Gentleman fans 
himself with his hand.~\ Warm, eh? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 13 

Stout Gentleman 

^Pours out watei'l : Three thousand is not bad. 
[Drinks.^ I guess three hundred wouldn't sound 
bad to her either. 

Manager 

Perhaps you would like to make a lower offer at 
the Elephant? — in her room? 

Stout Gentleman 
No use for fat fellows. 

Manager 

Our bellies protect our morals. [Mufffled 
Gentleman raps impatiently on the counter. In- 
differently. ] Well ? 
[He takes the cheque, smoothes it out, and hands it 

to the Cashier.] 
[Messenger Boy stares after the departing Lady, 
then at the last speakers, finally stumbles over 
the Stout Gentleman on the sofa.'\ 

Stout Gentleman 

[Robbing him of his wallet^ : There, my boy, 
that's what comes of making eyes at pretty ladies. 
[Now you've lost your money. [Messenger Boy 
looks shyly at him.^ How are you going to explain 
to your boss? [Messenger Boy laughs,!^ Remem- 



14? FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

ber this for the rest of your life! [Returning the 
wallet.^ Your eyes run away and you bolt after 
them. You wouldn't be the first. [Messenger Boy 
goes out.^ 

[Cashier has counted out scfme small silver. '\ 

Manager 
And they trust money to a young fool like that. 

Stout Gentleman 
Stupid ! 

Manager 

People should be more careful. That boy will 
abscond the first chance he gets — a born embezzler. 
[To Muffled Gentleman] : Is anything wrong? 
[Muffled Gentleman examines every coin.~\ 
That's a twenty-five pfennig piece. Forty-five 
pfennigs altogether ; that's all that's coming to you. 
[Muffled Gentleman pockets his money with 

great ceremony; buttons his coat over the 

pocket.'] 

Stout Gentleman 

[Ironically~\ : You ought to deposit your capital 
in the vault. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 15 

[Rising] : Now it's time for the fat fellows to un- 
load. 

[Muffled Gentleman turns away from counter^ 
and goes out.~\ 

Manager 

[To Stout Gentleman, breezily] : What are 
you bringing us this morning? 

Stout Gentleman 

\_Sets his attache case on the counter and takes 
out a pocket-book] : With all the confidence that 
your elegant clientele inspires. \_He offers his h^nd.~\ 

Manager 

[Taking it] : In any case we are immune to a 
pretty face when it comes to business. 

Stout Gentleman 

[Counting out his money] : How old was she, 
at a guess? 

Manager 
I haven't seen her without rouge — yet. 



16 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Stout Gentleman 
What's she doing here? 

Manager 
We'll hear that to-night at the Elephant. 

Stout Gentleman 
But who's she after? 

Manager 
All of us, perhaps, before she gets through. 

Stout Gentleman 

What can she do with three thousand in this 
town? 

Manager 
Evidently she needs them. 

Stout Gentleman 
I wish her luck. 

Manager 
With what ! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 17 

Stout Gentleman 
Getting her three thousand if she can. 

Manager 

From me? 

Stout Gentleman 
It doesn't matter from whom! [They laugTi.'\ 

Manager 

I'm curious to see when that letter of advice from 
Florence will arrive. 

Stout Gentleman 
If it arrives! 

Manager 

Ah ! If it arrives ! 

Stout Gentleman 
We might make a collection for her benefit. 

Manager 
I dare say that's what she has in mind. 



18 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Stout Gentleman 
You don't need to tell me. 

Manager 

Did you draw a winning number in the last lottery? 
[They laugh.] 

Stout Gentleman 

[To Cashier] : Take this. What's the difFer- 
ence if our money draws interest here or outside. 
Here — open an account for the Realty Construction 
Co. 

Manager 

[Sharply, to Clerk] : AcjCount : "Realty Con- 
struction Co." 

Stout Gentleman 
There's more to come. 

Manager 
The more the merrier. We can use it just now. 



FROM 1 ORN TO MIDNIGHT 19 

S' OUT Gentleman 

Sixty thousand marks, fifty thousand in paper, -^'^ 
ten thousand in gold. 

[Cashier begins counting.^ 

Manager 

[After a pause~\ : And how are you, otherwise? 

Stout Gentleman 

[To Cashier, who pauses to examine a note^ : 
Yes, that one's patched. 

Manager 

We'll accept it, of course. We shall soon be rid 
of it. I'll reserve it for our fair client from Flor- 
ence. She wore patches too. 

Stout Gentleman 
But behind these you find — a thousand marks. 

Manager 
Face value. 



20 FROM MORN TO M DNIGHT 

SrouT Gentlei an 

[Laughing immoderately'\ : Face value — that's 
good! 

Manager 

The face value! Here's your receipt. [Choking 
with laughter.^ Sixty — thousand — 

Stout Gentleman 
[Takes it, reads'] : Sixty — thou — 

Manager 
Face. 

Stout Gentleman 
Value. [They shake hands.] 

Manager 
[In tears] : I'll see you to-night. 

Stout Gentleman 

[Nods]: The face — the face — value! [He but- 
tons his overcoat, and goes out laughing.] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 21 

[Manager wipes the tears from his pince-nez; 
Cashier fastens the notes together in bundles.!^ 

Manager 

This lady from Florence — who claims to come 
from Florence — has a vision like that ever visited 
you in your cage before? Furs — perfume! The 
fragrance lingers — you breathe adventure. Su- 
perbly staged. Italy . . . Enchantment — fairy- 
tale — Riviera — Mentone — Pordighera — Nice 
— Monte Carlo, — where oranges blossom, fraud 
blooms, too. Swindlers — down there every square- 
foot of earth breeds them. They organize crusades. 
The gang disperses to the four winds — preferably 
small towns — off the beaten track. Then — appari- 
tions — billowing silks — furs — women — modern si- 
rens. Refrains from the sunny south — o bella Na- 
poli ! One glance and you're stripped to your under- 
shirt — to the bare skin — to the naked, naked skin. 
\_He drums with a pencil on the Cashier's hand.'\ 
Depend upon it, this bank in Florence knows as 
much about the lady as the man in the moon. The 
whole affair is a swindle, carefully arranged. And 
the web was woven not in Florence, but in Monte 
Carlo. That's the place to keep in mind. Take 
my word for it, you've just seen one of the gad- 
flies that thrive in the swamp of the Casino. We 
shall never see her again. The first attempt missed 



22 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

fire; she'll scarcely risk a second! I joke about 
it but I have a keen eye — when you're a banker — 
I really should have tipped off the police! Well, it 
doesn't concern me — besides, banks must be discreet. 
Keep your eye on the out-of-town papers, — the po- 
lice news. When you find something there about 
an adventuress, safe under lock and key — then we'll 
talk about it again. You'll see I was right — then 
we'll hear more of our Florentine lady than we'll 
ever see of her and her furs again. [£,ri^.] 
[Cashier seals up rolls of bank notes.'\ 

Pqrter 

[Enters with letters, hands them to Clerk] : One 

registered letter. I want the receipt. 

[Clerk stamps receipt form, hands it to Porter. 
Porter re-arranges glass and water-bottle on 
the table, and goes out. Clerk takes the letters 
into Manager's room, and returns.^ 

Lady 

[Be-enters; comes quickly to the counter'\ : I 
beg your pardon. 

Cashier 

[Stretches out his hand, without looking at her, 
Raps.~\ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 23 

Lady 

[Louder'\ : If you please ! [Cashier raps on the 
counter, 1 I don't want to trouble the Manager a 
second time. [Cashier raps on the counter.^ 
Please tell me — would it be possible for me to 
leave you the letter of credit for the whole sum, and 
to receive an advance of three thousand in part pay- 
ment? [Cashier raps impatiently.'] I should be 
willing to deposit my diamonds as security, if re- 
quired. Any jeweler in the town will appraise them 
for you. [She takes off a glove and pulls at her 
bracelet. Serving Maid comes in quickly, plumps 
down on sofa, and begins rummaging in her market- 
basket. Lady startled by the commotion, looks 
round. As she leans on the counter her hand sinks 
into the Cashier's. Cashier bends over the hand 
which lies in his own. His spectacles glitter, his 
glance travels slowly upward from her wrist. Serv- 
ing Maid with a sigh of relief, discovers the cheque 
she is looking for. Lady nods kindly in her direc- 
tion. Serving Maid replaces vegetables, etc., in her 
basket. Lady turning again to the counter, meets 
the eyes of the Cashier. Cashier smiles at her.] 

Lady 

[Drawing back her hand] : Of course I shall 
not ask the bank to do anything irregular. [She 



24^ FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

puts the bracelet on her wrist; the clasp refuses to 
catch. Stretching out her arm to the Cashier] : 
Would jou be so kind? I'm clumsy with the left 
hand. [Cashier stares at her as if mesmerized. 
His spectacles, bright points of light, seem almost to 
be swallowed up in the camty of his wide-open eyes. 
To Serving Maid] : You can help me, mademoiselle. 
[Serving Maid does 50.] Now the safety catch. 
[With a little cry^ : You're pinching my flesh. Ah, 
that's better. Thank you so much. \_She bows to 
the Cashier and goes out. Serving Maid coming 
to the counter, planlxs down her cheque. Cashier 
takes it in trembling hands, the slip of paper -flutters 
and crackles; he fumbles under the counter, then 
counts out money. ~\ 

Serving Maid 

[Looking at the pile of coins'] : That isn't all 
mine. [Cashier writes. Clerk becomes observant. 1 

Serving Maid 

[To Clerk] : But it's too much! [Clerk looks 
at Cashier. Cashier rakes in part of the money.] 
Still too much ! [Cashier ignores her and continues 
writing. Serving Maid shaking her head, puts the 
money in her basket and goes out.] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 25 

Cashiee 

[Hoarsely'] : Get me a glass of water ! [Clerk 
hurries from behind the counter; comes to table.~\ 
That's been standing. Fresh water — cold water 
— from the faucet. [Clerk hurries out with glass. 
Cashier goes quickly to electric hell, and rings. 
Porter enters from the hall.] Get me fresh water. 

Porter 
I'm not allowed to go so far from the door. 

Cashier 

[Hoarsely]: For me. Not that slime. I want 
water from the faucet. [Porter seizes water-bottle 
and hurries out. Cashier quicJdy crams his pockets 
with bank notes. Then he takes his coat frojn a 
peg, throws it over his arm, and puts on his hat. He 
lifts a flap in the counter, passes through, and goes 
out.] 

Manager 

[Absorbed in reading a letter, enters from his 
room] : Here's the letter of advice from Florence, 
after all 1 [Clerk enters with a glass of water. 
Porter enters with a full water-bottle.] 



26 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Manager 
\_Looking up~\ : What the devil. . . ^ 

Curtain 



SCENE II. 

Scene : Writing-room of a hotel. Glass door in 
back ground. On right , desk with telephone. On 
the lefty sofa and arm chair with table and news- 
papers. 

Lady 

[Writes. Son, in hat and coat, eniers, carrying 
under his arm a large fiat object wrapped in green 
baize. With surprise^ : Have you brought it with 
you? 

Son 

Hush! The wine dealer is do^/nstairs. The old 
fool is afraid I'll run away with it. 



Lady 

But I thought this morning he was glad to get 
rid of it. 



Son 

Now he's suspicious. 

27 



28 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 
You must have given yourself away. 

Son 
I did let him see I was pleased. 

Lady 
\_Smiling'\ : That would open a blind man's eyes. 

Son 

Let it. But don't be afraid. Mother, the price is 
the same as it was this morning. 

Lady 
Is the man waiting for his money? 

Son 
Let him wait. 

Lady 
But, my dear boy, I must tell you — 

Son 
[Kissing her] : Hush, Mother. This is a great 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 29 

moment. You mustn't look until I say so. {^He 
takes off his hat and cloak, puts the picture on a 
chair and lifts the green baize covering.^ 

Lady 
Ready ? 

Son 

\^In a low tone'] : Mother ! [Lady turns in her 
chair. Comes to her, puts his arm round her neck.] 
Well? 

Lady 
That was never meant to hang in a restaurant. 

Son 

It was turned to the wall. The old fellow had 
pasted his own photograph on the back of it. 

Lady 
Was that included in the price? 

Son 
[^Laughs]'. Tell me, what do you think of it? 



30 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 
I find it — very naive. 

Son 

Marvelous, isn't it? Extraordinary considering 
it's a Cranach. 

Lady 
Do you really prize it as a picture? 

Son 

Of course! But just look at the peculiar concep- 
tion — unique for Cranach. And a new treatment 
of this subject in the entire history of art. Where 
can you find an^^thing like it — in the Pitti — the 
Uffizi — the Vatican? Even the Louvre has nothing 
to compare with it. Here we have without doubt 
the first and only erotic conception of Adam and 
Eve. The apple is still in the grass — the serpent 
leers from behind the indescribable green foliage — 
and that means that the drama is played in Paradise 
itself and not in the banishment. That's the original 
sin — the real fall! Cranach painted dozens of 
Adams and Eves — standing stiffly — always separated 
— with the apple bough between them. In those pic- 
tures Cranach says simply: they knew each other. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 31 

But in this picture for the first time, he cries ex- 
ultantly they loved each other. Here a German 
proves himself a master of an eroticism intensely 
southern in its feeling. \_In front of the picture.^ 
And yet what restraint in this ecstasy ! This 
line of the man's arm as it slants across the wom- 
an's hip. The horizontal line of her thighs and the 
opposing line of his — never weary the eyes. These 
flesh tones make their love a living thing — doesn't 
it affect you that way.^* 

Lady 
I find it as naive as your picture. 

Son 
What does that mean.? 

Lady 
Please hide it in your room. 

Son 

I won't get its full effect until we get home. 
This Cranach in Florence. Of course, I'll have to 
postpone finishing my book. I must digest this 
first. A man must live with a thing like this be- 



32 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

fore he dares write about it. Just now I am over- 
whelmed. Think of finding this picture here — on the 
first stage of our trip! 

Lady 

But you were almost certain that it must be in 
this neighborhood. 

Son 

I am dazed nevertheless. Isn't it amazing ! I am 
lucky. 

Lady 

This is simply the^result of your own careful re- 
search. 

Son 
But not without your generosity.^ Your help.'^ 

Lady 
It makes me as happy as it does you. 

Son 

Your patience is endless. I tear you from your 
beautiful quiet life in Fiesole. You are an Italian, 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 33 

but I drag 3^ou through Germany in mid-winter. 
You live in sleeping cars or third-rate hotels; rub 
elbows with Tom, Dick, Harry ! 

Lady 

\_Smiling — patting Ms cheek'\ : Yes, I have had 
my fill of that. 

Son 

•But now I promise you to hurry. I'm madly im- 
patient to get this treasure safely home. Let's take 
the three o'clock train. Will you give me the three 
thousand marks? 



Lady 
I haven't them. 

Son 

But the owner is here, in the hotel. 

Lady 

The bank couldn't pay me. The letter of advice 
has somehow been delayed. 



S4i FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Son 
I've promised him the money. 

Lady 

Then you must return the picture until the letter 
arrives. 

Son 
Can't we hurry it in any way? 

Lady 

[^Smiles~\ : I've written a telegram ; I'll have it 
sent now. You see, we traveled so quickly that 
— [Waiter knocks at the door. Phone rings.'] 

Yes? 

Waiter 
Some one from the bank. 

Lady 

Send him up. {To Son.] They must be sending 
the money. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 35 

Son 

Call me as soon as you've got it. I'd rather keep 
an eye on the old man. 

Lady 
I'll send for you. 

Son 

Then I'll wait downstairs. \_Pauses in front of 
picture. Lady closes her portfolio. Cashier is seen 
behind the glass door, enters. Lady points to a 
chair, and starts to seat herself. Cashier stands.^ 

Lady 

I hope the bank — [Cashier sees the picture, and 
starts violently. 1 My visit to the bank was closely 
connected with this picture. 

Cashier 
lStaring.'\ You! 

Lady 
Do you find any point of resemblance. 



36 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
[^Smilingl : In the wrist ! 
Lady 
Are you interested ? 

Cashier 
I should like to discover more. 

Lady 
Do such subjects interest you? 

Cashier 

[Looking straight at her^ Yes — I understand 
them. 

Lady 

Are there any more to be found here ? You would 
do me a great favor — that's more important than the 
money. 

Cashier 



I have the money. 



Lady 



I fear at this rate my letter of credit will soon be 
exhausted. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 37 

Cashier 

^Produces a roll of hank notes~\ : This will be 
enough. 

Lady 
I can only draw twelve thousand in aU. 

Cashier 
Sixty thousand! 

Lady 
But — how did you — ? 

Cashier 
That's my business. 

Lady 
How am I to — ? 

Cashier 
We shall bolt. 

Lady 
Bolt? Where? 



38 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

Abroad. Anywhere. Pack your trunk, if you've 
got one. You can start from the station; I'll walk 
to the next stop and board the train. We'll spend 
the first night in — a time-table! \_He finds it.~\ 

Lady 

Have you brought more than three thousand from 
the Bank? 

Cashier 

l^Preoccupied with the time-tahle~\ : I have sixty 
thousand in my pocket — 50,000 in notes and ten 
thousand in gold. 

Lady 
And my part of that is — 

Cashier 

[Opens a roll of notes, and counts them with pro- 
fessional sJtill, then lays a bundle of them on the 
table'] : Your part. Take this. Put it away. We 
may be seen. The door has a glass panel. That's 
five hundred. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 39 

Lady 
Five hundred? 

Cashier 

More to come. All in good time. When we're 
in a safe place. Here we must be careful . . . hurry 
up — take it. No time for love-making. The wheel 
spins. An arm outstretched will be caught in the 
spokes. \_He springs to his feet.~\ 

Lady 
But I need three thousand. 

Cashier 

If the police find them on 3'ou, you'll find yourself 
in j ail ! 

Lady 
What have the police to do with it.'* 

Cashier 

You were in the bank. Your presence filled the 
air. They'll suspect you ; the link between us is clear 
as daylight. 



40 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 
I went to — jour bank. 

Cashier 
As cool as a cucumber — 

Lady 
I demanded — 

Cashier 
You tried to. 

Lady 
I tried — 

Cashier 
You did. With your forged letter. 

Lady 

[Taking a paper from her handbag'] : Isn't my 
letter genuine.'^ 

Cashier 
As false as your diamonds. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 41 

Lady 

I offered them as a security. Why should my 
precious stones be paste? 

Cashier 
Ladies of your kind only dazzle. 

Lady 

What do you think I am? I'm dark, it's true; a 
Southerner, a Tuscan. 

Cashiee 
From Monte Carlo. 

Lady 
\_Smiles'\ : No, from Florence! 

Cashier 

[His glance lighting upon the Son's hat and 
cloak.J Ha! Have I come too late? 

Lady 
Too late? 



42 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

Where is ne? I'll bargain with him. He'll be 
willing. I have the means. How much shall I 
offer? How high do you put the indemnity? How 
much shall I cram into his pockets? I'll bid up 
to fifteen thousand. Is he asleep? Still rolling in 
bed? Where's your room. Twenty thousand — five 
thousand extra for instant withdrawal! {^Picking 
up hat and cloak. ^ 

Lady 

llfi astonishment^ : The gentleman is sitting in 
the lounge. 

Cashier 

Downstairs ? Too risky ! Too many people down 
there. Call him up ; I'll settle with him here. Ring 
for him ; let the Waiter hustle. Twenty thousand, 
cash down! \^He begins counting the money. ~\ 

Lady 
Can my son speak for me? 

Cashier 
[Bounding hack'\ : Your — son ! ! ! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 43 

Lady 

I'm traveling with him. He's collecting material 
for a book on the history of art. That's what 
brought us from Florence to Germany, 

Cashier 
IStaring at Jier~\ : Son? 

Lady 
Is that so appalling? 

Cashier 
But — but — this picture — 

Lady 

A lucky find of his. My son is buying for three 
thousand marks ; this was the amount needed so ur- 
gently. The owner is a wine dealer whom you will 
probably know by name. . . . 

Cashier 

Furs . . . silk . . . rustle — glitter. The air was 
heavy with perfume! 



44! FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 

This is mid-winter. As far as I know, my way of 
dressing is not exceptional. 

Cashier 
The forged letter — 

Lady 
I was about to wire to my bank. 

Cashier 

Your bare wrist — on which you wanted me to put 
the bracelet — 

Lady 
We're all clumsy with the left hand. 

Cashier 

[Duly, to himself] : And I — have stolen the 
money — 

Lady 

[Diverted] : Will that satisfy you and your 
police? My son is not utterly unknown in the art 
world. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 45 

Cashier 

Now — at this very moment — they've discovered 
everything! I asked for water to get the clerk out 
of the way — and again for water to get the porter 
away from the door. The notes are gone; I'm an 
embezzler. I mustn't be seen in the streets ; I can't 
go to the railway station; the police are warned, 
sixty thousand ! I must slip away across the fields — 
through the snow — before the whole town is on my 
track ! 

Lady 
\_ShocJced~\ : Be quiet ! 

Cashier 

I took all the money. You;r presence filled the 
bank. Your scent hung on the air. You glistened 
and rustled — you put your naked hand in mine — 
your breath came warm across the counter — warm — 

Lady 
[Silencing him^ : Please^ — I am a lady. 

Cashier 
But now you must — 



46 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Lady 

[Controlling herself^ : Tell me, are you married? 
Yes? [^Violent gesture from Cashier.] Ah, that 
makes a difference. Unless I am to consider the 
whole thing a joke, you gave way to a foolish im- 
pulse. Listen. You can make good the loss. You 
can go back to your bank and plead a passing illness 
— a lapse of memory. I suppose you still have the 
full amount. 

Cashier 
I've embezzled the money — 

Lady 

[Ahruptlyl^ : Then I can take no further interest 
in the matter. 

Cashier 
I've robbed the bank. 

Lady 
You grow tedious, my dear sir. 

Cashier 
And now you must — 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 47 

Lady 
The one thing I must do, is to — 

Cashier 
After this you must — 

Lady 
Preposterous. 

Cashier 

I've robbed for you. I've delivered myself into 
your hands, destroyed my livelihood. I've burned 
my bridges behind me. I'm a thief and a criminal. 
[Burying his face in his hands.^ Now you must! 
. . . After all that you must ! 

Lady 
[Turns'] : I shall call my son. Perhaps he — 

Cashier 

[With a change of tone, springs nimbly to his feet. 
Grabbing her arm~\: Aha! Call him, would you? 
Rouse the hotel, give the alarm? A 'fine plan! 
Clumsy. I'm not so easily caught as that. Not in 



48 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

that trap. I have my wits about me, ladies and 
gentlemen. Yours are asleep. I'm always five miles 
ahead of you. Don't move. Stay where you are 
until I . . . \_He puts the money in his pocket.~\ 
. . . until I . . . \^He presses his hat over his eyes.~\ 
. . . until I . . . \^He wraps his coat closely about 
him.^ . . . until I . . . \_Softly he opens the glass 
door and slips out. Lady rises , stands motionless.^ 

Son 

\_Entering'] : The man from the bank has just 
gone out. You're looking worried. Mother. Is 
the money — ? 

Lady 

I found this interview trying. You know, my dear 
boy, how money matters get on my nerves. 

Son 
Is there still trouble about the payment .^^ 

Lady 
Perhaps I ought to tell you — 

Son 
Must I give back the picture.'* 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 49 

Lady 
I'm not thinking of that — 

Son 
But that's the chief question! 

Lady 
I think I ought to notify the police. 

Son 
Police? 

Lady 

Send this telegram to my bank. In future I must 
have proper documents that will satisfy every one. 

Son 
Isn't your letter of credit enough.? 

Lady 

Not quite. Go to the telegraph office for me. I 
don't want to send the porter. 



50 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Son 

And when shall we have the three thousand marks ? 
[Telephone hell rings.^ 

Lady 

[Recoils~\ : They're ringing me up already. [At 
the instrument. 1 Oh! Has arrived? And I'm to 
call for it myself? Gladly. [Change of tone,~\ 
I'm not in the least annoyed. Yes, of course. 
[Change of tone.^ Florence is a long way off. And 
then the Italian postoffice — I beg your pardon? Oh, 
via Berlin — a round about wa}^ That explains it. 
Not in the least. Thank you. In ten minutes. 
Good-by. [To Son.] All settled, my dear boy. 
Never mind the telegram. [She tears up the form.^ 
You shall have the picture. Your wine dealer can 
come along. He'll get his money at the bank. Pack 
up your treasure. We go straight from the bank to 
the station. [Telephoning while the Son wraps ^lp 
the picture.~\ The bill, please. Rooms 14 and 16. 
Yes, immediately. Please. 

Curtain 



SCENE III 

Scene: Aslant a field deep in snow. Through 
a tangle of low-hanging branches, blue shadows are 
cast by the midday sun. 

Cashier 

[Comes in backward, furtively~\ : What a mar- 
velous contraption a man is. The mechanism runs 
in his joints — silently. Suddenly faculties are 
stimulated, action results. My hands, for instance, 
when did they ever shovel snow? And now 
they dig through snow drifts without the slightest 
trouble. My footprints are all blotted out. I have 
achieved a complete incognito^ [Pause.'] Frost 
and damp breed chills. Before you know it you've 
got a fever and that weakens the will — a man loses 
control over his actions if he's in bed sick. 
He's easily tracked. [Throws cuffs to ground.] 
Lie there! You'll be missed in the wash! La- 
mentations fill the kitchen ! A pair of cufFs is miss- 
ing ! A catastrophy in the tubs ! Chaos ! [Pause.] 
Strange ! How keen my wits are ! Here I work like 
mad to efface my tracks and then betray myself 

51 



52 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

bj two bits of dirty linen. It is always a trifle, an 
oversight — carelessness that betrays the criminal. 
\_Pause,^ I wonder what's going to happen. I am 
keyed up to the highest pitch! I have every 
reason to expect momentous discoveries. The last 
few hours prove it. This morning a trusted em- 
ployee — fortunes passing througli my hands. The 
Construction Company makes a huge deposit. At 
noon an out-and-out scoundrel. Up to all the tricks. 
The details of flight carefully worked out. Turn the 
trick and run. Marvelous accomplishment — and 
only half the day gone. I am prepared for any- 
thing. I know I can play the game. I am on 
the march! There is no turning back. I march — 
so out with your trumps without any fuss. I have 
put sixty thousand on a single card — it must be 
trumps. I play too high to lose. No nonsense — 
cards on the table — do you understand? Now you'll 
have to, my beautiful lady. Your cue — my silken lady, 
give it to me, my resplendent lady — or the scene will 
fall flat. [Pause.~\ Idiot — and 3^ou think you can 
act! Perform your natural duties — breed children 
and don't bother the prompter. Ah, I beg your 
pardon — you have a son — you are completely ab- 
solved. I withdraw my aspersions. Good-by, give 
my compliments to the manager of the bank. His 
very glances cover you with slime, but don't let 
that worry j^ou. He's been robbed of sixty-thou- 
sand. His roof rattles and leaks — never mind, 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 53 

never mind — the Construction Co. will mend it 
for him. I release you from all obligations — you 
are dismissed — you can go ! Stop ! Permit me to 
thank you! What's that you say? Nothing to 
thank you for.? Yes! There is. Not worth men- 
tioning? You are joking. You are my sole credi- 
tor. How so? I owe you my life! Good God — I 
exaggerate? You have electrified me — set me free. 
One step toward you and I enter a land of miracles. 
And with this load in my breast pocket I pay cash 
for all favors. And now fade away. You are 
outbid. Your means are too limited. Remember you 
have a son. Nothing will be knocked down to you. 
I'm paying cash down. [Pause.^ I have ready 
money. Come on — what's for sale? {^Pause.^ 
Snow? Sunlight — stillness — . Blue snow at such a 
price. Outrageous, profiteering. I decline the offer. 
Your proposition is not bona fide. \_Pause.'\ But 
I must pay. I must spend, I've got the cash. Where 
are the goods that are worth the whole sum? Sixty 
thousand and the buyer to boot — flesh and bones — 
body and soul. Deal with me ! Sell to me — I have 
the money, you have the goods — let us trade. {^The 
wind is blowing, the sun is overcast, disant thunder 
is heard.~\ The earth is in labor — spring gales at 
last ! That's better ! I knew my cry could not be in 
vain. My demand was urgent. Chaos is insulted 
and will not be put to shame by my colossal deed of 
;^ i . jvioining. I knew it. In a case like mine never 



54 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

let up. Go at them hard — pull down their cloaks 
and you'll see something. \_The tree has changed to 
the form of a skeleton, the wind and thunder die 
down.l Have you been sitting behind me all this 
time eavesdropping? Are you an agent of the po- 
ice? Not in the ordinary narrow sense — but [pause^ 
comprising all. Police of Fate? Are you the all- 
embracing answer to my emphatic question? Does 
your rather well ventilated appearance suggest the 
final truth — emptiness? That's somewhat scanty — 
very threadbare — in fact nothing! I reject the in- 
formation as being too full of gaps. Your services 
are not required. You can shut your rag and bone 
shop. I am not taken in as easily as that. [Pause,^ 
This procedure would be exceedingly simple — it's 
true — you would spare me further entanglements. 
But I prefer complications. So farewell — if that is 
possible, to you in your condition! I still have 
things to do. When one is traveling one can't enter 
every house on the road — not even at the friendliest 
invitations. I still have many obligations to fulfil 
before evening. You can't possibly be the first — 
perhaps the last — but even then onl^^ as a last resort. 
I won't want to do it. But, as I said, as a last 
resort — that's debatable. Ring me up at midnight 
— ask Central for my number. It will change from 
hour to hour. And excuse the coldness of my tone. 
We should be on friendlier terms, I know. We are 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 55 

closely bound. I really believe I carry you about 
with me now. 

So, 3^ou see, we have come to a sort of understand- 
ing. That is a beginning which gives, one confi- 
dence and backbone to face the future, whatever it is. 
I appreciate that fully. My most profound re- 
spects. [After a peal of thunder and a last gust 
of wind the skeleton reverts to the tree. The sun 
comes out again.'] There — I knew it wouldn't last. 

Curtain 



SCENE IV 

Scene : Parlor in Cashier's house. In the win- 
dow-hoxeSy blown geranmms. Table and chairs. 
Piano right. Mother [liard of hearing^ sits near 
the window. First Daughter is embroidering at 
the table. Second Daughter is practising the 
overture to Tannhauser. Wife comes and goes on 
the left. The clock ticks interminable/. 

Mother 
What's that you're playing? 

First Daughter 
The Overture to Tannhauser. 

Mother 
"0 Tannenbaum" is another pretty piece. 

Wife 

[Enteringl^ : It's time I began to fry the chops. 
57 



58 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

First Daughter 
Oh, not yet, Mama. 

Wife 
No, it's not time yet to fry the chops. 

Mother 
What are you embroidering now? 

First Daughter 
Father's slippers. 

Wife 

[Coming to Mother] : To-day we have chops 
for dinner. 

Mother 
Are you frying them now? 

Wife 
Plenty of time. It's not twelve o'clock yet. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 59 

First Daughter 
Not nearly twelve, Mama. 

Wife 
No, not nearly twelve., 

Mother 
When he comes, it will be twelve. 

Wife 
He hasn't come yet. 

First Daughter 
When Father comes, it will be twelve o'clock. ' 

Wife 
Yes. [Exit,] 

Second Daughter 
[^Stops playing, listens'^ : Is that Father.? 

First Daughter 
[Listens]: Father? 



60 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Wife 
^Enters'] : Is that my husband? 

Mother 
Is that my son? 

Second Daughter 
Father! 

First Daughter 
Father! 

Wife 
Husband ! 

Mother 
Son! 

Cashier 
\_Enters right, hangs up hat and cloak. Pause.'\ 

Wife 
Where do you come from? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 61 

Cashier 
From the cemetery. 

Mother 
Has somebody died suddenly? 



Cashier 

^Patting her on the back] : You can have a 
sudden death, but not a sudden burial. 



Wife 
Where have you come from? 

Cashier 

From the grave. I burrowed through the clods 
with my forehead. See, here's a lump of ice. It was 
a great effort to get through — an extraordinary 
effort. I've dirtied my hands a little. You need a 
good grip to pull yourself up. You're buried deep. 
Life keeps on dumping dirt on you. Mountains of 
it — dust — ashes — the place is a rubbish heap. The 
dead lie at the usual depth — three yards. The liv- 
ing keep on sinking deeper and deeper. 



62 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Wife 
You're frozen from head to foot. 

Cashier 

Thawed. Shaken by storms, like the Spring. The 
wind whistled and roared; I tell you it stripped off 
my flesh until my bones were bare — a skeleton — 
bleached in a minute. A boneyard! At last the 
sun welded me together again. And here I am. 
Thus I've been renewed from the soles of my feet up. 

Mother 
Have you been out in the open.f* 

Cashier 

In hideous dungeons. Mother. In bottomless pits 
beneath monstrous towers ; deafened by clanking 
chains, blinded by darkness! 

Wife 

The bank must be closed. You've been celebrat- 
ing with the manager. Has there been a happy 
event in his family.? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 63 

Cashier 

He has his eye on a new mistress. Italian beauty 
— silks and furs — where oranges bloom. Wrists 
like polished ivory. Black tresses — olive complexion. 
Diamonds. Real ... all real. Tus . . . tus . . . 
the rest sounds like Canaan. Fetch me an atlas. 
Tus-Canaan. Is that right? Is there an Island of 
that name? A mountain? A swamp? Geography 
can tell us everything. But he'll burn his fingers. 
She'll turn him down — brush him off like a bit of 
dirt. There he lies . . . sprawling on the carpet 
. . . legs in the air . . . our snug little manager! 

Wife 
The bank is not closed? 

Cashier 

Never, Wife. Prisons are never closed. The pro- 
cession is endless. An eternal pilgrimage. Like 
sheep rushing into the slaughter house. A seething 
mass. No escape — none — unless you jump over their 
backs. 

Mother 

Your coat's torn in the back. 



64 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
And look at my hat ! Fit for a tramp. 

Second Daughter 
The lining's torn. 

Cashier 

Look in my pockets. Left . . . right! [First 
Daughter and Second Daughter pulls out cuf[s\\ 

Cashier 
Inventory. 

Daughters 
Your cuffs. 

Cashier 

But not the buttons. Hat — coat — torn — ^what 
can you expect — jumping over backs. They kick — 
they scratch — hurdles and fences — silence in the pen 
— order in the fold — equal rights for all. But one 
jump — don't hesitate — and you are out of the pen. 
One mighty deed and here I am ! Behind me nothing 
and before me — What? \^Sits. Pause.'\ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 65 

Wife 
IS tares at /lim.] 

Mother 
\_Half-whispering'\ : He's sick. 

Cashier 

\_To one of the Daughters]: Get my jacket. 
[To the other] : My slippers. [To the first] : My 
cap. \_To the other] : My pipe. \_All are 
brought.] 

Mother 
You oughn't to smoke, when you've already been — 

Wife 

\_Motioning her to be silent] : Shall I give you a 
light.? 

Cashier 

\_In jacket, slippers, and embroidered skull-cap, 
with pipe in hand, seats himself comfortably at the 
table.] Light up! 



66 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Wife 
[^Ana:ioudi^'\ : Does it draw? 

Cashier 

l^Looking into pipe~\ : I shall have to send it for 
a thorough cleaning. There must be some bits of 
stale tobacco in the stem. Sometimes way in . . . 
there are obstructions. It means I have to draw 
harder than is strictly necessary. 

Wife 
Do you want me to take it now? 

Cashier 

No, stay here. ^Blowing great smohe-clouds.'] 
It will do. [To Second Daughter] : Play some- 
thing. 

Second Daughter 

[At a sign from her mother, sits at piano and 
plays,] 

Cashier 
What piece is that? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 67 

Second Daughter 
The Overture to Tannhauser. 

Cashier 

\_Nods approval. To First Daughter] : Sew- 
ing? Mending? Darning? 

First Daughter 
Embroidering your slippers. 

Cashier 
Very practical. And you, Grandma? 

Mother 

[Feeling the umversal dread~\ : I was just hav- 
ing forty winks. 

Cashier 
In peace and quiet. 

Mother 
Yes, my life is quiet now. 



68 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
\_To Wife] : And you, Wife? 

Wife 
I was going to fry the chops. 

Cashier 
^Nodding'] : Mmm — kitchen. 

Wife 
I'll fry yours now. 

Cashier 
[Nodding as before^ : Kitchen ! 

Wife 
[Exit.^ 

Cashier 

[To Daughters] : Open the doors. 
[Daughters exit right and left, returning immed- 
iately.'] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 69 

Wife 

[Enters. Pausel : Are you too warm in here? 
\_She returns to her task.~\ 

Cashier 

[Looking around himl : Grandmother at the win- 
dow. Daughters — at the table embroidering . . . 
playing Wagner. Wife busy in the kitchen. Four 
walls . . . family life. Cozy ... all of us to- 
gether. Mother' — son . . . child under one roof. 
The magic of familiar things. It spins a web. Room 
with a table. Piano. Kitchen . . . daily bread. 
Coffee in the morning . . . chops at noon. Bed- 
room . . . beds . . . in . . . out. More magic. 
In the end flat on your back . . . white and stiff. 
Table pushed against the wall ... in the center a 
pine coffin . . . screw lid . . . silver mountings . . . 
but detachable ... a bit of crepe on the lamp . . . 
piano unopened for a year. 

Second Daughter 
[Stops playing^ and runs sobbing into the kitchen,^ 

Wife 
[Enters~\ : She is practising the new piece. 



70 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Mother 
Why doesn't she try something simpler? 

Cashier 

\_Knocks out Ms pipe^ begins putting on his hat and 
overcoat.^ 

Wife 

Are you going to the bank? Are you going out 
on business? 

Cashier 
Bank — ^business? No. 

Wife 
Then where are you going? 



Cashier 

That's the question, Wife. I've climbed down 
from wind-swept trees to find an answer. I came 
here first. Warm and cozy, this nest ; I won't deny 
its good points; but it doesn't stand the final test. 
No ! The answer is clear. This is not the end of 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 71 

my journey, just a sign-post; the road leads further 
on. IHe is now fully dressed.^ 

Wife 
\_Distraught~\ : Husband, how wild you look! 

Cashier 

Like a tramp, as I told you. Never mind. Better 
a ragged wayfarer than an empty road ! 

Wife 
But, it's dinner-time. 

Mother 

IHalf rising'] : And you're going out, just be- 
fore a meal? 

Cashier 

I smell the pork chops. Full stomach, drowsy 
wits. 

Mother 

\_Beats the air suddenly with her arms, and falls 
senseless.] 



72 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

First Daughter 
Grandma. 



Second Daughter 

Grandma! Mother. [Both fall on their knees, 
beside her. 



Wife 
[Stands motionless,'] 

Cashier 

[Going to Mother's chair] : For once in his life 
a man goes out before his meal — and that kills her. 
[He brushes the daughters aside and regards the 
body.] Grief? Mourning? Overflowing tears? 
Can they make me forget. Are these bonds so closely 
woven that when they break there's nothing left to 
me in life but grief? — Mother — son! [He pulls 
the roll of banknotes out of his 'pocket and 
weighs it in his hand, then shakes his head and 
puts the money away.] Grief does not paralyze 
. . . the eyes are dry and the mind goes on. There's 
no time to lose, if my day is to be well spent. [He 
lays his well-worn purse on the table.] Use it. 
There's money honestly earned. That may be worth 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 73 

remembering. Use it. \_He goes out on the left.~\ 

Wife 
\_Stands motionless.^ 

Daughters 
[Bend over the dead Mother.] 

Bank Manager 

[Coming from the right. 1( : Is your husband at 
home? Has your husband been there? I have 
to bring you the painful news that he has ab- 
sconded. We missed him some hours ago ; since then 
we have been through his books. The sum involved 
is sixty thousand marks, deposited by the Realty 
Construction Co. So far, I've refrained from mak- 
ing the matter public, in the hope that he would 
come to his senses and return. This is my last at- 
tempt. You see I've made a personal call. Has 
3^our husband been here? [He looks around him, 
and observes jacket, pipe, etc.^ It looks as though 
. . . [His glance lights upon the group at the win- 
dow. He nods.] I see! In that case . . . [He 
shrugs his shoidders, puts on his hat.~\ I can only 
express my personal sympathy ; be assured of that. 
The rest must take its course. [Eocit Manager.] 



74 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Daughters 
[Coming to Wife] : Mother — 

Wife 

[Savagely^ : Don't screech into my ears ! Who 
are you? What do you want? Brats — monkeys. 
What have you to do with me? [Breaking down.'l 
My husband has left me. 

Daughtees 
[Stand shyly, holding hands.'\ 

CUETAIN 




Setting by Lee Simonson Photograph by Francts Bruguierre 

SCENE V. FROM THE THEATRE GUILD PRODUCTION 



SCENE V 

Scene : The steward's box of a velodrome during 
a cycle race meeting. Jewish gentlemen, stewards, 
come and go. They are all alike; little animated 
figures in dinner jackets, with silk hats tilted haxk 
and binoculars slung in leather cases. Whistling, 
catcalls and a restless hum from the cronvded tiers of 
spectators unseen, off right. Music. All the action 
takes place on the platform. 

First Gentleman 
\^Entering'\ : Is everything ready? 

Second Gentkeman 
See for yourself. 

First Gentleman 
[Looking through glasses'] : The palms — 

Second Gentleman 

What's the matter with the palms? 
75 



76 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

First Gentleman 
I thought as muck 

Second Gen'tleman 
But what's wrong with them? 

First Gentleman 
Who arranged them like that? 

Third Gentleman 
Crazy. 

Second Gentleman 
Upon mj soul, you're right! 

First Gentleman 
Was nobody responsible for arranging them? 

Third Gentleman 
Ridiculous. Simply ridiculous. 

First Gentleman 
Whoever it was, he's as blind as a bat! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 77 

Third Gentleman 
Or fast asleep. 

Second Gentleman 

Asleep. But this is only the fourth night of the 
races. 

First Gentleman 
The palm-tubs must be pushed on one side. 

Second Gentleman 
Will you see to it? 

First Gentleman 

Right against the wall. There must be a clear 
view of the whole track. \^Ea:it.J 

Third Gentleman 
And of the royal box. 

Second Gentleman 
I'll go with you. lExit.'] 



78 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Fourth Gentleman 
\_Enters, fires a pistol-shot and withdraws.'] 

Fifth Gentleman 
[^Enters with a red lacquered megaphone.'] 

Third Gentleman 
How much is the prize? 

Fifth Gentleman 

Eighty marks. Fifty to the winner, thirty to the 
second. 

First Gentleman 

[Re-entering'] : Three times round, no more. 
We're tiring them out. 

Fourth Gentleman 

[Through megaphone] : A prize is offered of 
eighty marks. The winner to receive fifty marks, 
the second thirty marks. [Applause.] 

Second and Third Gentlemen 
[Return, one carrying a flag.] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 79 

First Gentleman 
We can start them now. 

Second Gentleman 
Not yet. No. 7 is shifting. 

First Gentleman 
Off! 



Second Gentleman 

[Lowers his flag. The race begins. Rising and 
falling volume of applause, with silent intervals. '\ 



Third Gentleman 
The little fellows must win once in a while. 

Fourth Gentleman 
It's a good thing the favorites are holding back. 

Fifth Gentleman 

They'll have to work hard enough before the 
night's over. 



80 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Third Gentleman 
The riders are terribly excited. 

Fourth Gentleman 
And no wonder. 

Fifth Gentleman 

Depend upon it, the championship will be settled 
to-night. 

Third Gentleman 
The Americans are still fresh. 

Fifth Gentleman 
Our lads will make them hustle. 

Fourth Gentleman 

Let's hope his royal highness will be pleased with 
the victory. 

First Gentleman 

\_Looking through glasses^ : The box is still 
empty. ^Outburst of applause.'] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 81 

Third Gentleman 
The result ! 

Fourth Gentleman 

Prizes in cash — 50 marks for No. 11, 30 marks for 

No. 4. 

[Seventh Gentleman enters with Cashier. The 
latter is in evening clothes, with silk hat, patent 
shoes, gloves, cloak, his beard trimmed, his hair 
carefully brushed. ~\ 

Cashier 
Tell me what is this all about? 

Second Gentleman 
I'll introduce you to the stewards. 

Cashier 
My name doesn't matter. 

Second Gentleman 
But you ought to meet the management. 



82 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
I prefer to remain incognito. 

Second Gentleman 
But you seem interested in these races. 

Cashier 

I haven't the slightest idea what it's all about. 
What are they doing down there? I can see a 
round track with a bright moving line, like a snake. 
Now one comes in, another falls out. Why is that? 

Second Gentleman 

They ride in pairs. While one partner is pedal- 
ling— 

Cashier 
The other blockhead sleeps? 

Second Gentleman 
He's being massaged. 

Cashier 
And you call that a relay race? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 83 

Second Gentleman 
Certainly. 

Cashier 
You might as well call it a relay rest. 



First Gentleman 

[ApproacJiingl : Ahem ! The endlosure is re- 
served for the management. 



Second Gentleman 
This gentleman offers a prize of a thousand marks. 

First Gentleman 
[Change of t07ie~\ : Allow me to introduce myself. 

Cashier 
On no account. 

Second Gentleman 
The gentleman wishes to preserve his incognito. 



84 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
Impenetrably. 

Second Gentleman 
I was just explaining the sport to him. 

Cashier 
Yes, don't you find it funny? 

First Gentleman 
How do you mean? 

Cashier 
Why, this relay rest. 

Fourth Gentleman 

A prize of a thousand marks! For how many 
laps ? 

Cashier 
As many as you please. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 85 

Fourth Gentleman 
How much shall we allot to the winner? 

Cashier 
That's your affair. 

FouETH Gentleman 

Eight hundred and two hundred. [Through 
megaphone.^ An anonymous gentleman offers the 
following prizes for an open race of ten laps : 800 
marks to the winner; 200 marks to the second; 1000 
marks in all. [Loud applause.'} 



Second Gentleman 

But tell me, if you're not really interested in this 
sort of thing, why do you offer such a big prize? 



Cashier 
Because it works like magic. 

Second Gentleman 
On the pace of the riders, you mean? 



86 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
Rubbish. 

Third Gentleman 

[Entering^ : Are you the gentleman who is of- 
fering a thousand marks ? 

Cashier 
In gold. 

Second Gentleman 
That would take too long to count. . . . 

Cashier 

Watch me. [He pulls out the moneys moistens his 
finger and counts rapidly. ~\ That makes less to 
carry. 

Second Gentleman 
I see you're an expert. 

Cashier 

A mere detail, sir. [Handing him the money.'\ 
Accept payment. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 87 

Second Gentleman 
Received with thanks. 

Fifth Gentleman 

[Appro achingi : Where is the gentleman? Al- 
low me to introduce — 

Cashiebj 
Certainly not! 

Thied Gentleman 

[ With flcig^ : I shall give the start. {^General 
movement from the stand,^ 

Fifth Gentleman 
Now we shall see a tussle for the championship. 

Third Gentleman 
[Joining group~\ : All the cracks are in the race. 

Fourth Gentleman 
Off! [Outburst of applause.~\ 



88 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

[^Taking First and Second Gentlemen by the 
collar a7id turning them around} : Now I'll answer 
your question for you. Look up ! 

Second Gentleman 

But you must keep your eye on the track, and 
watch how the race goes. 

Cashier 

Childish, this sport. One rider must win because 
the other loses. Look up, I say ! It's there, among 
the crowd, that the magic works. Look at them — 
three tiers — one above the other — packed like sar- 
dines — excitement rages. Down there in the boxes 
the better classes are still controlling themselves. 
They're only looking on but, oh, what looks wide- 
eyed — staring. One row higher, their bodies sway 
and vibrate. You hear exclamations. Way up — 
no restraint ! Fanatic — yells — bellowing nakedness 
— a gallery of passion. Just look at that group! 
Five times entwined; five heads dancing on one 
shoulder, five pairs of arms beating time across one 
howling breast ! At the head of tliis monster is a 
single man. He's being crushed . . . mangled . . . 
thrust over the railing. His hat, crumpled, falls 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 89 

through the murky atmosphere . . . flutters into the 
middle balcony, lights upon a lady's bosom. There 
it rests daintily ... so daintily ! She'll never no- 
tice the hat ; she'll go to bed with it ; year in, year out, 
she'll carry this hat upon her breast ! 
\_TJie applause swells. '\ 

First Gentleman 
The Dutchman is putting on speed. 

Cashieb, 

The second balcony joins in. An alliance has 
been made; the hat has done the trick. The lady 
crushes it against the railing. Pretty lady, your 
bosom will show the marks of this ! There's no help 
for it. It's foolish to struggle. You are pushed to 
the wall and you've got to give yourself, just as you 
are, without a murmur. 

Second Gentleman 
Do you know the lady.'' 

Cashier 

Look ! Some one is being pushed out over the rail- 
ing. He swings free, he loses his hold, he drops 



90 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

— he sails down into the boxes. What has become of 
him? Vanished! Swallowed, stifled, absorbed! A 
raindrop in a maelstrom! 

First Gentleman 
The fellow from Hamburg is making up ground. 

Cashier 
The boxes are frantic. The falling man has set up 
contact. Restraint can go to the devil! Dinner- 
jackets quiver. Shirt fronts begin to split. Studs 
fly in all directions. Lips are parted, jaws are rat- 
tling. Above and below — all distinctions are lost. 
One universal yell from every tier. Pandemonium. 
Climax. 



Second Gentleman 
[Turning'] : He wins ! He wins ! The German 
wins ! What do you say to that ? 

Cashier 
Stufl^* and nonsense. 

Second Gentleman 
A marvelous spurt! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 91 

Cashier 
Marvelous trash ! 

First Gentleman 
[About to leave'l : We'll just make certain — 



Cashier 

[Holding him back~\ : Have you any doubts 
about it? 



Second Gentleman 
The German was leading, but — 

Cashier 

Never mind that, if you please. [Pointing to the 
audience.~\ Up there you have the staggering fact. 
Watch the supreme effort, the lazy dizzy height of 
accomplishment. From boxes to gallery one seeth- 
ing flux, dissolving the individual, recreating-pas- 
sionl Differences melt away, veils are torn away; 
passion rules ! The trumpets blare and the walls 
come tumbling down. No restraint, no modesty, no 
motherhood, no childhood — nothing but passion 1 
There's the real thing. That's worth the search. 
That justifies the price! 



92 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Third Gentleman 

[Entering~\ : The ambulance column is working 
splendidly. 

Cashiee 
Is the man hurt who fell? 

Third Gentleman 
Crushed flat. 

Cashier 
When life is at fever heat some must die. 

Fourth Gentleman 

[^With 7negaphone~\ : Result; 800 marks won by 
No. 2; 200 marks won by No. 1. [^Loud applause.~\ 

Fifth Gentleman 
The men are tired out. 

Second Gentleman 
You could see the pace dropping. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 93 

Third Gentleman 
They need a rest. 

Cashier 
I've another prize to offer. 

First Gentleman 
Presently, sir. 

Cashier 
No interruptions, no delays. 

Second Gentleman 
We must give them a chance to breathe. 

Cashier 

Bah ! Don't talk to me of those fools ! Look 
at the public, bursting with excitement. This power 
mustn't be wasted. We'll feed the flames ; you shall 
see them leap into the sky. I off'er fifty thousand 
marks. 

Second Gentleman 
Do you mean it.^^ , 



94^ FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Third Gentleman 
How much did you say? 

Cashier 
Fifty thousand. Everything. 

Third Gentlejvian 
It's an unheard of sum — 



Cashier 

The effect will be unheard of. Warn your am- 
bulance men on every floor. 



First Gentleman 

We accept your offer. The contest shall begin 
when the box is occupied. 



Second Gentleman 
Capital idea! 

Third Gentleman 
Excellent ! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 95 

Fourth Gentleman 
This is a profitable visitor. 

Fifth Gentleman 
[Digging him in the rz6] : A paying guest. 

Cashier 

[To First Gentleman] : What do you mean — 
w^hen the box is occupied? 

First Gentleman 

We'll talk over the conditions in the committee 
room. I suggest 30,000 to the winner ; 15,000 to the 
second ; 5,000 to the third. 

Second Gentleman 
Exactly. 

Third Gentleman 
[Gloomily'] : Downright waste, I call it.: 

Fifth Gentleman 
The sport's ruined for good and all. 



96 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

First Gentleman 

\Turning'\ : As soon as the box is occupied. 
[All go out, leaving Cashier alone. Enter Sal- 
vation Lass.] 

Salvation Lass 
The War Cry! Ten pfennigs, sir. 

Cashier 
Presently, presently. 

Salvation Lass 
The War Cry, sir. 

Cashier 
What trash are you trying to sell? 

Salvation Lass 
The War Cry, sir. 

Cashier 
You're too late. The battle's in full swing. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 91 

Salvation Lass 
^Shaking tin boa:} : Ten pfennigs, sir. 

Cashier 
So you expect to start a war for ten pfennigs? 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs, sir. 

Cashier 
I'm paying an indemnity of 50,000 marks.: 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs. 

Cashier 

Yours is a wretched scuffle. I only subscribe to 
pitched battles. 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs. 



98 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
I carry only gold. 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs. 

Cashiee 
Gold— 

Salvation Lass 
Ten— 

Cashiee 

[Seizing megaphone, bellows at her through it^ : 
Gold! Gold! Gold! [Salvation Lass goes out. 
Many Gentlemen enter. 1 

Fourth Gentleman 
Would you care to announce your offer yourself? 

Cashiee 

No, I'm a spectator. You stun them with the 
50,000. [Handing him the megaphone. 1 



PROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 99 

Fourth Gentleman 

[Through the megaphone^ : A new prize is off- 
ered by the same anonymous gentleman. [Cries of 
"Bravo r] The total sum is 50,000 marks. 5,000 
marks to the third, 15,000 to the second. The 
winner to receive 30,000 marks. [Ecstasi^.^ 

Cashier 

[Stands apart, nodding his head'] : There we 
have it, the pinnacle. The summit. The climbing 
hope fulfilled. The roar of a spring gale. The 
breaking wave of a human tide. All bonds are burst. 
Up with the veils — down with the shams ! Humanity 
— free humanity, high and low, untroubled by class, 
unfettered by manners. Unclean, but free. That's 
a reward for my impudence. [Pulling out a bundle 
of notes.] I can pay with a good heart! Sudden 
silence. The Gentlemen have taken off their silk 
hats and stand with bowed heads.] 

Fourth Gentleman 

[Coming to Cashier] : If you'll hand me the 
money, we can have the race for your prize immedi- 
ately. 

Cashier 
What's the meaning of this? 



100 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Fourth Gentleman 
Of what, my dear sir? 

Cashier 
Oh this sudden, unnatural silence. 



Fourth Gentleman 

Unnatural? Not at all. His Royal Highness has 
just entered his box. 



Cashier 
Highness . . . the royal box . . . the house full. 

Fourth Gentleman 

Your generous patronage comes at the most op- 
portune moment. 

Cashier 
Thank you ! I don't intend to waste my money. 

Fourth Gentleman 
What do you mean? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 101 

Cashier 

I find the sum too large ... as a subscription to 
the Society of back benders ! 

Fourth Gentleman 
But pray explain . . . 

Cashier 

This fire that was raging a moment ago has been 
put out by the boot of his Highness. You take me 
for crazy, if you think I will throw one single penny 
under the snouts of these grovelling dogs, these 
crooked lackeys ! A kick where the bend is greatest, 
that's the prize they'll get from me. 

Fourth Gentleman 

But the prize has been announced. His Royal 
Highness is in his box. The audience is showing a 
proper respect. What do you mean? 

Cashier 

If you don't understand my words, let deeds speak 
for me. [^With violent blow lie crushes the other^s 



102 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

silk hat down upon his shoulders. Exit. Foueth 
Gentleman rushes after him, but is restrained hy 
the others. ~\ 

Curtain 



SCENE VI 

Scene: Private supper room in a cabaret. 
Subdued dance music. 



Waiter 
[Opens the door.~\ 

Cashier 

[Enters; evening clothes, coat, silk muffler, gold- 
headed bamboo cane.'] 

Waiter 
Will this room suit you, sir? 

Cashier 
It'll do. 

Waiter 

[Takes coat, etc.] 

103 



104 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
[Turns his hack and looks into a mirror,'] 

Waiter 
How many places shall I lay, sir? 

Cashier 

Twenty-four. I'm expecting my grandma, my 
mother, my wife, and several aunts. The supper is 
to celebrate my daughter's confirmation. 

Waiter 
[Stares at him,] 

Cashier 

[To the other's reflection in the mirror] : Ass ! 
Two! What are these private rooms for.? 

Waiter 
What brand would you prefer.? 

Cashier 

Leave that to me, my oily friend. I shall know 
which flower to pluck in the ball-room . . . round 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 105 

or slender, a bud or a full-blown rose. I shall not 
require jour invaluable services. No doubt they are 
invaluable ... or have you a fixed tariff for that 
too? 



Waiter 
What brand of champagne, if you please.? 

Cashier 
Ahem! Grand Marnier. 

Waiter 
That's the liqueur, sir. 

Cashier 
Then I leave it to you. 

Waiter 

Two bottles of Pbmmery — extra dry. [^Produc- 
ing menw card.^ And for supper .^ 

Cashier 
Pinnacles ! 



106 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Waiter 

Oeufs poches Bergere? Poulet grille? Steak de 
veau trufFe? Parfait de foi gras en croute? Salade 
coeur de laitue? 

Cashier 
Pinnacles, pinnacles from soup to dessert. 

Waiter 
Pardon? 

Cashier 

\Tapping him on the 'nose~\ : A pinnacle is the 
point of perfection . . . the summit of a work of 
art. So it must be with your pots and pans. The 
last word in delicacy. The menu of menus. Fit 
to garnish great events. It's your affair, my friend. 
I'm not the cook. 

Waiter 

\_Sets a large menu-card on the tahle^ : It will be 
served in twenty minutes. [He rearranges glasses, 
etc. Heads with silken masks peep through the 
doorway.'] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 107 

Cashier 

\_Sees them in the mirror. Shaking a warning 
finger at them~\ : Wait, my moths ! Presently I 
shall have you in the lamplight! [The masks van- 
ish, giggling.] 

Waiter 

[Hangs a notice — *'Reserved'^ — on the outside of 
the door, then withdraws and closes it behind 
him.~\ 

Cashier 

[Pushes hack his silk hat, takes out a gold cigar- 
ette case, strikes a match, sings~\ : "Tor . . . ea 
. . . dor, Tor . . . ea . . . dor . . ." Queer, how 
this stuff comes to your lips. A man's mind must 
be cram full of it . . . cram full. Everything. 
Toreador — Carmen — Caruso. I read all this some- 
where ... it stuck in my head. There it lies, piled 
up like a snowdrift. At this very moment I could 
give a history of the Bagdad railway. And how the 
Crown Prince of Roumania married the Czar's second 
daughter, Tatjana. Well, well, let them marry. 
The people need princes. [Sings.~\ "Tat . . . 
tat . . . ja . . . na. Tat . . . ja . . . na . . ." 
[Twirling his cane, exit.] 



108 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Waiter 

[Enters with bottles on ice. Uncorks, pours out 
wine. Exit.~\ 

Cashier 

[Re-enters, driving before him a female Mask in 
a harlequin's red and yellow-quartered costume. 1^ 
Flj, moth! Flj, moth! 

First Mask 

[Running round the table~\ : Fizz I [She drinks 
both of the filled glasses. J^ Fizz! 

Cashier 

[Pouring out more wine^ : Liquid powder. Load 
jour painted body. 

First Mask 
[Drinking'l ' ^^^^ • 

Cashier 
Battery mounted, action front. 



PROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 109 

First Mask 
Fizz! 

Cashier 

[Putting aside the bottles'] : Loaded. [Coming to 
her.] Ready to fire. 

First Mask 
[Leans drunkenly towards him,] 

Cashier 
[Shaking her limp ariri] : Look brighter, moth. 

First Mask 
[Does not respond.] 

Cashier 

You're dizzy, my bright butterfly. You've been 
licking the prickly yellow honey. Open your wings, 
enfold me, cover me up. I'm an outlaw; give me a 
hiding-place; open your wings. 

First Mask 
[With a hiccough]: Fizz! 



110 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

No, my bird of paradise. You have your full 
load. 

First Mask 
Fizz! [^Sinking onto sofa.l^ 

Cashier 

Not another drop, or you'll be tipsy. Then what 
would you be worth? 

First Mask 
Fizz! 

Cashier 

How much are you worth? What have you to 
offer? [Bending over her.~\ 

First Mask 
Fizz! 

Cashier 
I gave you that, but what can you give me? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 111 

First Mask 
[Falls asleep.'] 

Cashier 

Ha! You'd sleep here, would you? Little imp! 
But I've no time for the joke; I find it too tedious. 
[He rises, fills a glass of wine and throws it in her 
face.'] Good morning to you ! The cocks are crow- 
ing! 

First Mask 
[Leaping to her feet]: Swine! 

Cashier 

A quaint name. Unfortunately I'm traveling in- 
cognito, and can't respond to the introduction. 
And so, my mask of the well-known snoutish family 
. . . get off my sofa ! 

First Mask 
I'll make you pay for this ! 

Cashier 
I've paid already. It was cheap at the price. 



112 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 
FiEST Mask 

Cashier 
{^Drinks champagne. Exits, singing.'] 

Waiter 

[Enters with caviare; collects empty glasses. 
Exit.] 

Cashier 
[Enters with two black Masks.] 

Second Mask 
[Slamming the door] : Reserved ! 

Third Mask 
[At the table]: Caviare! 

Second Mask 
[Running to her]: Caviare? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 113 

Cashier 

Black as your masks. Black as yourselves. Eat 
it up ; gobble it, cram it down your throats. [^Seat- 
ing himself between them.'] Speak caviare. Sing 
wine. I've no use for your brains. {^He pours out 
champagne and fills their plates.] Not one word 
shall you utter. Not a syllable, not an exclamation. 
You shall be dumb as the fish that strewed this 
black spawn upon the Black Sea. You can giggle, 
you can bleat, but don't talk to me. You've nothing 
to say. You've nothing to shed but your finery . . . 
Be careful ! I've settled one already 1 

Masks 
[Look at one another^ sniggering.] 

Cashier 

[Taking Second Mask by the arm] : What 
color are your eyes? Green . . . yellow? [Turn- 
ing to Tiiini) Mask.] And yours? Blue . . . red? 
A play of glances through the eyeholes. That 
promises well. Come, I'll offer a beauty prize! 

Masks 
[Laugh.] 



114 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

\_To Second Mask] : You're the pretty one. 
You struggle hard, but wait ! In a moment I'll tear 
down your curtain and look at the show. 

Second Mask 
\_BreaJi;s away from Mm.^ 

Cashier 

[To Third Mask] : You have something to hide. 
Modesty's your lure. You dropped in here by chance 
You were looking for adventure. Well, here's your 
adventurer. Off with your mask. 

Third Mask 
\_Slips away from Mm.'] 

Cashier 

This is the goal? I sit here trembling. You've 
stirred my blood. Now let me pay. [He pulls 
out a bundle of notes and divides it between them.] 
Pretty maskj this for your beaut3\ Pretty mask, 
this for your beauty. ^Holding his hand before 
his eyes.] One — two — three! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 115 

Masks 
\_Lift their dominoes.'] 

Cashier 

[LooJcing at them, laughs hoarsely] : Cover them 
— cover them up ! \_He runs round the table.] Mon- 
sters — horrors ! Out with you this minute — this 
very second, — or I'll . . . [He lifts his cane,] 

Second Mask 
But you told us — 

Third Mask 
You wanted us — 

Cashier 
I wanted to get at you ! 

Masks 
\^Run out.] 

Cashier 

[ShaMng himself, drinks champagne]: Sluta! 
[Exits, humming.] 



116 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Waiter 
\^Enters with fresh bottles, and exit.'\ 

Cashier 

\_Kicking the door open, entering with Fourth 
Mask, a Pierrette in a domi7io cloak reaching 
to her shoes. He leaves her standing in the 
middle of the room, and throws himself in 
chair] : Dance ! 

Fourth Mask 
\_Stands still.'] 

Cashier 

Dance ! Spin your bag of bones. Dance, dance ! 
Brains are nothing. Beauty doesn't count. Danc- 
ing's the thing — twisting, whirling 1 Dance, dance, 
dance ! 

Fourth Mask 
\_Co7nes halting to the mirror.] 

Cashier 

[Waving her away] : No interruption, no delay. 
Dance! 



I 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 117 

Fourth Masr 
\_Stands motionless. '\ 

Cashier 

Why don't j^ou leap in the air? Have you never 
heard of Dervishes? Dancing-men. Men while they 
dance, corpses when they cease. Death and danc- 
ing — sign posts on the road of life. And between 
them — 

Salvation Lass 
lErtters.l 

Cashier 
Oh, Halleluja! 

Salvation Lass 
The War Cryf 

Cashier 
I know. Ten pfennigs. 

Salvation Lass 
[Holds out her hox.^ 



118 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
When do you expect me to jump into your box? 

Salvation Lass 
The War Cry! 

Cashier 
I suppose you do expect it? 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs. 

Cashier 
When will it be ? 

Salvation Lass 
Ten pfennigs. 

Cashier 
So vou mean to liriiio- on to my coat-tails, do you? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 119 

Salvation Lass 
[^ShaJces her fcoj;.] 

Cashier 
I'll shake you off! 

Salvation Lass 
[^Shakes boa:.'] 

Cashier 
[To Mask] : Dance ! 

Salvation Lass 
Oh! [Ea^it.] 

Fourth Mask 
{Comes to table.] 

Cashier 

Why were you sitting in a corner of the ballroom, 
instead of dancing in the middle of the floor? That 
made me look at you. All the others went whirling 
by, and you were motionless. Why do you wear 



120 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

a long cloak, when they are dressed like slender boys ? 

Fourth Mask 
I don't dance. 

Cashier 
You don't dance like the others. 

Fourth Mask 
I can't dance. 



Cashier 

Not to music, perhaps ; not keeping time. You're 
right ; that's too slow. But you can do other dances. 
You hide something under 3^our cloak — your own 
particular spring, not to be cramped by step and 
measure ! You have a quicker movement — a nimbler 
leap. [Pushing everything off the table.~\ Here's 
your stage. Jump on to it. A boundless riot in 
this narrow circle. Jump now. One bound from 
the carpet. One effortless leap — on the springs that 
are rooted in your joints. Jump. Put spurs to 
your heels. Arch your knees. Let your dress float 
free over the dancing limbs ! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 121 

Fourth Mask 
[Sits on the edge of the table~\ : I can't dance. 

Cashier 

You arouse my curiosit3\ Do you know what 
price I can pay? IShowiiig her a roll of hank 
notes.^ All that! 

Fourth Mask 

[Tahes Ms hand and passes it down her leg~\ : You 
see — I can't. 

Cashier 

[Leaping to his feet^: A wooden leg! [He 
seizes a champagne cooler and upsets it over her.~\ 
I'll water it for you ! We'll make the buds sprout ! 

Fourth Mask 
I'll teach you a lesson. 

Cashiee 
I'm out to learn ! 



122 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Fourth Mask 
Just waitf \_Ea;it.'\ 

Cashier 

[^Puts a bank note on the table, takes cloak and 

stick. Exit.^ 
[Guests in evening dress enter,'] 

First Guest 
Where is the fellow? 

Second Guest 
Let's have a closer look at him. 

First Guest 
A blackguard who entices away our girls — 

Second Guest 
Stuffs them with caviare — 

Third Guest 
Drenches them in champagne — 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 123 

Second Guest 
And then insults them ! 

First Guest 
We'll find out his price — 

Second Guest 
Where is he? 

Third Guest 
Given us the slip ! 

First Guest 
He smelt trouble! 

Second Guest 
The place was too hot for him. 

Third Guest 
\_Finding the bank note^: A thousand! 

Second Guest 
Good God ! 



124 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

First Guest 
He must stink of money. 

Second Guest 
That's to pay the bill. 



Third Guest 

He's bolted. We'll do a vanishing trick too. 
\_He pockets the money. ~\ 



First Guest 
That's the indemnity for our girls. ' 

Second Guest 
Now let's give them the slip. 

Third Guest 
They're all drunk. 

First Guest 
They'll only dirty our shirt-fronts for us. 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 125 

Second Guest 
Let's go to the district for a week. 

Third Guest 

Bravo ! While the money lasts ! Look out, here 
comes the waiter! 

Waiter 
\_Entering with full tray, halts dismay ed.~\ 

First Guest 
Are you looking for any one? 

Second Guest 
You might find him under the table. [^Laughter. ~\ 

Waiter 

[/w an outhursti : The champagne — the supper 
— the private room — nothing paid for. Five bottles 
of Pomm^ry, two portions of caviare, two special 
suppers — I have to stand for everything. I've a 
wife and children. I've been four months out of a 
place, on account of a weak chest. You won't see 
me ruined, gentlemen? 



126 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Third Guest 

What has your chest to do with us ? We all have 
wives and children. 

Second Guest 
Did we do you ? What are you talking about ? 

First Guest 

What sort of a place is this? Where are we? 
It's a common den of swindlers. And you lure peo- 
ple into a place like this ? We're respectable people 
who pay for their drinks. Eh! What! Eh! 

Third Guest 

[After changing the door-key to the outer side'\ : 
Look under the table, there. Now we've paid you, 
too ! [He gvves the Waiter, who turns round, a push 
which sends him sprawling.^ 

Waiter 
[Staggers, falls.l 

Gentlemen 
[Exeunt. ~\ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 127 

Waiter 

[Rises, runs to the door, finds it locked. Beating 
his fists on the panels^ : Let me out! Let me out! 
You needn't pay me ! I'm going — into the river ! 



Curtain 



SCENE VII 

Scene : Salvation Army hall, seen in depth. The 
background is formed hy a black curtain. In front 
of this stands the low platform on which is the 
penitent form. 

In the body of the hall, the benches are crowded. 
A great hanging lamp, with a tangle of wires for 
electric lighting, is above the audience. In the fore- 
ground on the left, is the entrance. Music: "Jesus 
Lover of my Soul,'* played on an organ, and sung by 
the audience. From a corner, applause and laughter 
centering in one man. 

Soldier 

[Salvation Lass goes to this corner and sits near 
the disturber. She takes his hand in hers and 
whispers to him.'\ 

Voice 

[From the other side~\ : Move up closer. Be 
careful. Bill ! Ha, ha ! Move there ! 

129 



130 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Soldier 

[Salvation Lass, goes to the speaker, a young 
•workman.~\ 

Workman 
What are you after? 

Soldier 

ILooks at him, shaking her head gravelz/l : Merri- 
ment. 

Officer 

[Woman of 30, coming to the front of the plat- 
forml^ : I've a question to ask you all. 

Some 
[^^^] • Hush ! \_0r whistle for silence,'\ 

Others 
Speech. None of your jaw! . . . Music I . ^ . 

Voices 
Begin! Stop! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 131 

Officer 
Tell me . . . why are you sitting crowded there? 

Voice 
Why not? 

Officer 

You're packed like herrings in a barrel. You're 
fighting for places . . . shoving one another off the 
forms. Yet one bench stands empty. 

Voice 
Nothing doing! 

Officer 

Why do you sit squeezing and crowding there? 
Can't you see it's a nasty habit? Who knows his 
next-door neighbor? You rub shoulders with him, 
you press your knees against his, and for all you 
know he may be rotting. You look into his face — 
and perhaps his mind is full of murderous thoughts. 
I know there are sick men and criminals in this hall. 
So I give you warning ! Mind your next-door neigh- 
bor ! Beware of him ! Those benches groan under 
sick men and criminals ! 



132 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Woman's Voice 
Next to me? 

Second Voice 
Or me? 

Officer 

I give you this word of advice ; steer clear of your 
neighbor! In this asphalt city, disease and crime 
are ever}' where. Which of you is without a scab? 
Your skin may be smooth and white, but 3^our looks 
give you away. You have no eyes to see, but your 
eyes are wide open to betray you. You haven't 
escaped the great plague; the germs are too power- 
ful. You've been sitting too long near bad neigh- 
bors. Come up here, come away from those benches, 
if you would not be as your neighbors are in this 
city of asphalt. This is the last warning. Repent. 
Repent. Come up here, come to the penitent form. 
Come to the penitent form, come to the penitent 
form. [Music, ''Jesus Lover of My SouV^ 

Salvation Lass 
[Leads in Cashier.] 

Cashier 
[/t? evening dress, arouses some notice.~\ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 133 

Salvation Lass 

\_Finds Cashier a place among the crowd, stands 
next to him and explains the procedure.^ 

Cashier 

[^Loohs around him amused. Music ceases, iron- 
ical applause.^ 

Officer 

[^Coming forward again] : One of our comrades 
will tell you how he found his way to the penitent 
bench. 

First Soldier 
[Young man steps onto the platform.] 

Voice 
So that's the mug! [Some laughter.] 

First Soldier 

I want to tell you of my sin. I led a life without 
giving a thought to my soul. I cared only for my 



134 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

body. I built up my body like a strong wall; the 
soul was quite hidden behind it. I sought for glor}/ 
with my body, and made broader the shadow in which 
my soul withered away. My sin was sport. I prac- 
tised it without a moment's pause ; vain of the quick- 
ness of my feet on the pedals ; and the ring of the ap- 
plause among the spectators. I sent out many a 
challenge; I won many a prize. My name was 
printed on every bill board ; my picture was in all the 
papers. I was in the running for the world cham- 
pionship. ... At last my soul spoke to me. Its 
patience was ended. I met with an accident. The 
injury was not fatal. My soul wanted to leave me 
time for repentence. My soul left me strength 
enough to rise from those benches where you sit, 
and to climb up here to the penitent form. There 
my soul could speak to me in peace. What it told 
me I can't tell you now. It's all too wonderful, and 
my words are too weak to describe it. You must 
come 3^ourselves, and hear the voice speak within you ! 
[He steps in.^ 

A Man 

[Laughs obscenely.^ 

Seveeal 
[Cry^: Hush! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 135 

Salvation Lass 
[To Cashier, in a low voice^ : Do you hear him? 

Cashier 
Let me alone. \^Music plays and ceases.'] 



Officer 

[Coming forward] : You've heard our comrade's 
testimony. Can you win anything nobler than your 
own? And it's quite easy, for the soul is there witl^' 
in you. You've only to give it peace . . . once, 
just once. The soul wants to sit with you for one 
quiet hour. Its favorite seat is on this bench. 
There must be one among you who sinned like our 
comrade here. Our comrade will help him. The 
way has been opened up. So come. Come to the 
penitent bench. Come to the penitent bench. Come 
to the penitent bench. \_Silence.~\ 



First Penitent 

[Young man of powerful build, with one arm in a 
sling, rises in a corner of the hall and maizes his 
way through the crowd, smiling nervously. He 
mounts the platform.] 



136 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

]\Ian 
[Laughs obscenely.^ 

Another 
[Indignantly^ : Where is that dirty lout ! 

Man 
[Rises abashed y and makes his way toward the door.^ 

Others 
That's the fellow ! 

Soldier 

[Salvation Lass, hurries to him and leads him back 
to the place.'] 

Voice 
[Facetiously^^ : Oh, let me go, Angelina ! 

Several Others 
Bravo ! 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 137 

FiEST Penitent 

\_0n the platform^ : In this city of asphalt there's 
a hall. Inside the hall is a cj'cle-track. This was 
my sin. I was a rider too. I was a rider in the 
relay races this week. On the second night I met 
with a collision. I was thrown; my arm was broken. 
The races are hurrying on, but I am at rest. All 
my life I have been riding without a thought. Now ! 
I want to think of everything. \_Loudli/.~\ I want 
to think of my sins at the penitent bench. [Led 
hy a Soldier, he sinks on to the bench; Soldier 
remains at his side.^ 

Officer 
A soul has been won! [^Music plays and ceases.^ 

Salvation Lass 
[To Cashier] : Do you see him.'^ 

Cashier 
My affair. My affair. 

Salvation Lass 
What are you muttering? 



138 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
The relay races. 

Salvation Lass 
Are you ready? 

Cashier 
Hold your tongue. 

Officer 

[Stepping forward'\ : Another comrade will tes- 
tify. 

Man 
\_Hisses.'\ 

Others 
Be quiet there! 

Second Soldier 

[Girl mounts the platform'\ : Whose sin is my sin? 
I'll tell you of my sin without shame. I had a 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 139 

wretched home, if you could call it a home. The 
man, a drunkard, was not my father. The woman — 
who was my mother — went with smart gentlemen. 
She gave me all the money I wanted ; her bully gave 
me all the blows — I didn't want. \_Laughter.~\ No 
one thought of me ; least of all did I think of myself. 
So I became a lost woman. I was blind in those 
days. I couldn't see that the miserable life at home 
was only meant to make me think of my soul and 
dedicate myself to its salvation. One night I learned 
the truth. I had a gentleman with me, and he 
asked me to darken the room. I turned out the gas, 
though I wasn't used to such ways. Presently I 
understood why he had asked me ; for, I realized that 
I had with me only the trunk of a man whose legs 
had been cut off. He didn't want me to know that he 
had wooden legs, and that he had taken them off in the 
dark. Then horror took hold of me, and wouldn't 
let me go. I began to hate my body ; it was only my 
soul that I could love. And now this soul of mine 
is my delight. It's so perfect, so beautiful; it's the 
bonniest thing I know. I know too much of it to 
tell you here. If you ask your souls, they'll tell you 
all — all! \_She steps down. Silence.'\ 

Officer 

[Coming forward^ : You've heard our sister tes- 
tify. Her soul offered itself to her, and she did 



140 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

not refuse. Now she tells you her story with joyful 
lips. Isn't a soul offering itself now, at this mo- 
ment, to one of you? Let it come closer. Let it 
speak; here on this bench it will be undisturbed. 
Come to the penitent bench. Come to the penitent 
bench. \_Movement in tlie hall. Some turn round.'\ 



Second Penitent 

[Elderly prostitute, begins to speak as she comes 
forward] : What do you think of me, ladies and 
gentlemen? I was just tired to death of street walk- 
ing, and dropped in by chance for a rest. I'm not 
shy — oh, dear no ! I don't know this hall ; it's my 
first time here. Just dropped in by chance, as you 
might say. [Speaking from the platform.] But 
you make a great mistake, ladies and gentlemen, if 
you think I should wait to be asked a second time! 
Not this child, thank you — oh, dear no ! Take a 
good look at me, from tip to toe; it's your last 
chance; enjoy the treat while you can! It's quite 
all right; never mind me; I'm not a bit shy; look 
me up and down. Thank you, my soul's not for 
disposal. I've never sold that. You could offer me 
as much as you pleased, but my soul was always 
my own. I'm obliged to you for your compliments, 
ladies and gentlemen. You won't run up against me 
in the streets again. I've got no time to spare for 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 141 

you. My soul leaves me no peace. \}A Soldier 
leads her to the penitent form.~\ 



Officer 

A soul has been won ! \_Music. Jubilation of the 
Soldiers. Music ceases. '\ 



Salvation Lass 
\_To Cashier.] Do you hear all.? 

Cashier 
That's my affair. My affair. 

Salvation Lass 
What are you muttering about.'* 

Cashier 
The wooden leg. The wooden leg. 

Salvation Lass 
Are you ready? 



142 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
Not yet. Not yet. 

A Man 

[Standing upright in the middle of the halV\ : 
Tell me my sin. I want to hear my sin ! 

Officer 

[Coming forward^ : Our comrade here will tell 
you. 

Voices 

[ExcitedlT^'l : Sit down ! Keep quiet ; give him 
a chance. 

Third Soldier 

[Elderly man~\ : Let me tell you my story. It's 
an everyday story. 

Voice 

Then why tell it? 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 14*3 

Third Soldier 

That's how it came to be my sin. I had a snug 
home, a contented family, a comfortable job. Every- 
thing was just — everyday. In the evening, when I 
sat smoking my pipe at the table, under the lamp, 
with my wife and children round about me, I felt 
satisfied enough. I never felt the need of a change. 
Yet the change came, I forget what started it; per- 
haps I never knew. The soul knocks quietly at your 
door. It knows the right hour and uses it. 

Second Penitent 
Halleluj a. 

Third Soldier 

However that might be, I couldn't pass the warning 
by. I stood out at first in a sluggish sort of way, 
but the soul was stronger. More and more I felt 
its power. All my born days I'd been set upon com- 
fort now I knew that nothing could satisfy me fully 
but the soul. 

Soldiers 
Halleluj a. 



144 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Third Soldiee 

I don't look for comfort any longer at the table 
under the lamp, with a pipe in my mouth; I find 
it here alone at the penitent bench. That's my 
everyday story. \_He stands hack.~\ 

[Music plays and is interrupted hy Third Peni- 
tent. Elbowing hjs way up^ : My sin ! My sin ! 
[From the platform.'] I'm the father of a family ! 

Voice 
Congratulations ! 

Third Penitent 

I have two daughters. I have a wife. My mother 
is still with us. We live in four rooms. It's quite 
snug and cozy in our house. One of my daughters 
plays the piano, the other does embroideries. My 
wife cooks. My old mother waters the geraniums in 
the window-boxes. It's cozy in our house. Coziness 
itself. It's fine in our house. It's grand . . . 
first-rate . . . It's a model — a pattern of a home. 
[With a change of voice.] Our house is loathsome 
. . . horrible . . . horrible . . . mean . . . paltry 
through and through. It stinks of paltriness in 
every room ; with the piano-playing, the cooking, the 
embroider}^, the watering pots. [Breaking out.] 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 145 

I have a soul ! I have a soul ! I have a soul ! \_He 
stumbles to the penitent bench.~\ 

Soldiers 
Halleluj a. 

Officer 
A soul has been won! 

Salvation Lass 
\_To Cashier] : Do you see him? 

Cashier 
^- My daughters. My wife. My mother. 

Salvation Lass 
What do you keep mumbling? 

Cashier 
My affair. My affair. 

Salvation Lass 
Are you ready? 



146 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

Not yet. Not yet. 

{Jubilant music. Loud uproar in the 1iall,'\ 

Man 

{Standing upright , and stretching out hands'^ : 
What's my sin? What's my sin? I want to know 
my sin? Tell me my sin. 

Officer 

{Coming forward^ : Our comrade will tell you. 
{Deep silence.^ 

Fourth Soldier 

{Middle-aged, comes forward] : My soul had a 
hard struggle to win the victory. It had to take 
me by the throat and shake me like a rat. It was 
rougher still with me. It sent me to jail. I'd 
stolen the money that was entrusted to me; I'd ab- 
sconded with a big sum. They caught me; I was 
tried and sentenced. In my prison cell I found the 
rest my soul had been looking for. At the last it 
could speak to me in peace. At last I could hear its 
voice. Those days in the lonely cell became the hap- 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 147 

piest in my life. When my time was finished I could 
not part from my soul. 



Soldiers 
Halleluj a. 

Fourth Soldier 

I looked for a quiet place where we two could meet. 
I found it here on the penitent form; I find it here 
still, each evening that I feel the need of a happy 
hour! IStanding aside.'] 

Officer 

[Coming forward] : Our comrade has told you of 
his happy hours at the penitent form. Who is 
there among you who wants to escape from this 
sin? Here he will find peace ! Come to the penitent 
bench ! 

Man 

[Standing up, shouting and gesticulating] : No- 
body's sin! That's nobody's sin! I want to hear 
mine! My sin! My sin! [Many joirj^ in.] My 
sin! My sin! My sin! 



148 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 
My sinl 

Salvation Lass J 

[Above the uproar] : What are you shouting? 

Cashier 
The bank. The money. 

Salvation Lass 
[^Shaking him] : Are you ready.? 

Cashier 
Yes, now I'm ready I 

Salvation Lass 

[Taking his arm] : I'll lead you up there. I'll 
stand by you — always at your side. [Turning to 
the crowds ecstatically] : A soul is going to speak. 
I looked for this soul. I found this soul! [The 
tumult ehbs into a quiet hum.] 

Cashier 

[On the platform. Salvation Lass by his side] : 
I've been on the road since this morning. I was 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 149 

driven out on this search. There was no chance 
of turning back. The earth gave way behind me, 
all bridges were broken. I had to march forward 
on a road that led me here. I won't weary you with 
the halting-places that wearied me.- None of them 
were worth my break with the old life ; none of 
them repaid me. I marched on with a searching eye, 
a sure touch, a clear head. I passed them all by, 
stage after stage ; they dwindled and vanished in the 
distance. It wasn't this, it wasn't that, or the next 
— or the fourth or the fifth ! What is the goal, what 
is the prize, that's worth the whole stake? This hall, 
humming with crowded benches, ringing with melody ! 
This hall! Here, from bench to bench, the spirit 
thunders fulfilment ! Here glow the twin crucibles ; 
confession and repentance! Molten and free from 
dross, the soul stands like a glittering tower, strong 
and bright. You cry fulfilment for these benches. 
\^Pause.^ I'll tell you my story. 

Salvation Lass 
Speak, I'm with you. I'll stand by you. 

Cashier 

I've been all day on the road. I confess ; I'm 
a bank cashier. I embezzled the money that was en- 
trusted me. A good round sum; sixty thousand 
marks ! I fled with it into your city of asphalt. 



150 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

By this time, they're on my track ; perhaps they've 
offered a big reward. I'm not in hiding any more. 
I confess ! You can buy nothing worth having, 
even with all the money of all the banks in the world. 
You get less than you pay, every time. The more 
you spend, the less the goods are worth. The 
money corrupts them: the money veils the truth. 
Money's the meanest of the paltry swindles in this 
world! [Pulling rolls of hank notes out of his 
breast pocket.^ This hall is a burning oven; it 
glows with your contempt for all mean things. I 
throw the money to you ; it shall be torn and stamped 
under foot. So much less deceit in the world ! So 
much trash consumed. I'll go through your benches 
and give mj'Self up to the first policeman; after con- 
fession, comes atonement. So the cup is filled ! 
[With gloved hands he scatters hank notes broadcast 
into the hall. The money flutters down; all 
hands are stretched upward; a scrimmage en- 
sues. The crowd is tangled info a fighting 
skein. The Soldiers leap from the platform; 
benches are overturned, blows of fisticuffs re- 
sound above the shouting. At last, the. 
cramped mass rolls to the door and out into the 
street.^ 

Salvation Lass 

[Who has taken no part in the struggle, stands alone 
on the steps.^ 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 151 

Cashier 

[Smiling at herl : You are standing by me. You 
are with me still ! \_Picking up an abandoned drum 
and a stick.} On we go. [Roll of drum.} The 
crowd is left behind. [Roll of drum.'] The yelp- 
ing pack outrun. Vast emptiness. Elbow room ! 
Room! Room! Room! [Drum.} A maid remains 
. . . upright, steadfast ! Maiden and man. The 
old garden is reopened. The sky is clear. A voice 
cries from the silent tree tops. It is well. \^Drum.} 
Maiden and man . . . eternal constancy. Maid- 
en and man . . . fulness in the void. Maiden 
and man . . . the beginning and the end. Maiden 
and man . . . the seed and the flower. Maiden and 
man . . . sense and aim and goal! [^Rapid drum- 
taps , then a long roll.} 

Salvation Lass 
\_Draws back to the door, and slips out.} 

Cashier 
[Beats a tattoo.} 

Salvation Lass 

[Throws the door open. To Policeman] : 
There he is I I've shown him to you ! I've earned 
the reward. 



152 FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 

Cashier 

[^Letting fall the drumstick in ilie middle of a 
heat^ : Here above you, I stand. Two are too 
many. Space holds but one. Space is loneliness. 
Loneliness is space. Coldness is sunshine. Sunshine 
is coldness. Fever heat burns you. Fever heat 
freezes you. Fields are deserted. Ice overgrows 
them. Who can escape .^^ Where is the door.? 

Policeman 
Is this the only entrance.'* 

Salvation Lass 
[Nods.l 

Cashier 
[Feels in his pocket.~\ 

Policeman 

He's got a hand in his pocket. Switch off that 
light. We're a target for him ! 

Salvation Lass 

[Obeys. All the lights of the hanging lamp are 
put out. Lights from the left illuminate the 



FROM MORN TO MIDNIGHT 153 

tangle of wires, forming a skeleton in out- 
line,^ 

Cashier 

[Feeling with his left hand in his breast pocket, 
grasps with his right a trumpet^ and blows a fanfare 
toward the lamp^ : Ah ! — Discovered. Scorned 
in the snow this morning — welcomed now in the tan- 
gled wires. I salute you. \_Trumpet.] The road is 
behind me. Panting, I climb the steep curves that 
lead upward. My forces are spent. I've spared my- 
self nothing. I've made the path hard, where it 
might have been easy. This morning in the snow 
when we met, you and I, you should have been more 
pressing in your invitation. One spark of enlight- 
enment would have helped me and spared me all 
trouble. It doesn't take much of a brain to see 
that— Why did I hesitate? Why take the road.?. 
Whither am I bound? From first to last you sit 
there, naked bone. From morn to midnight, I rage 
in a circle ., . . and now your beckoning finger 
points the way . . . whither? [He shoots the an- 
swer into his breast. 



Policeman 
Switch on the light. 



w^? 



154 FROM MCRN TO MIDNIGHT 

Salvation Lass 
[Does so.l 

Cashier 

\_Has fallen back, with arms outstretched, tumhling 
headlong down the steps. His husky gasp 
is like an ^'Ecce,'' his heavy sigh is like a 
^^Homo.'' One second later all the lamps ex- 
plode with a loud report.^ 

Policeman 

There must be a short circuit in the main. [Dark- 
ness.^ 

Curtain 

THE END 



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